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Weather blog: Snow has stopped, but several highways remain closed in the Eastern Plains

Posted: 3:35 PM, Jan 17, 2023
Updated: 2023-01-19 17:04:40-05
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Winter Weather Colorado

A significant winter storm is finally moving out of Colorado, but conditions are still impacting travel forcing school and business delays.

You can watch Denver7 News streaming live here this morning.

READ MORE: In-depth look at the forecast | Today's forecast | Traffic radar | Interactive weather radars | School closures, delays

We're keeping an eye on the roads and weather as this storm moves into Colorado. Read the live updates below.


Thursday

2:27 p.m. | DENVER WARMING CENTER | The McNichols Civic Center Building will stay open as a 24/7 warming shelter until Saturday morning, the City and County of Denver announced. Learn more here.

1:57 p.m. | HIGHWAY UPDATES | I-76 westbound is now completely open. The eastbound lanes remain closed at Sterling.

Highway 61 is now totally open, as is Highway 71 from Brush to Last Chance.

I-70 is open in both directions.

1:25 p.m. | I-70 UPDATE | CSP Limon says that one lane of eastbound I-70 reopened from Airpark Road at 1:17 p.m. Crews are continuing their cleanup efforts, so be aware of people and vehicles around the highway.

11:05 a.m. | HIGHWAY 6 UPDATE | CSP out of Limon says that Highway 6 is open from Sterling to Nebraska.

7:33 a.m. | STRASBURG CRASH UPDATE | The westbound lanes of I-70 from the Kansas border to E-470 are back open, according to CDOT. Cleanup continues on the eastbound lanes.

7:14 a.m. | STRASBURG CRASH UPDATE | The Colorado State Patrol continues to clean-up the nine-vehicle pileup near Strasburg that snarled traffic on I-70 yesterday.

It will be a lengthy process, as two semi-trailers will need to offloaded before they can be safely removed from the scene

6:04 a.m. | TRAFFIC CONDITIONS | The storm has passed, but road conditions range from wet to slushy to icy and snow covered. Plan for a slick commute and give yourself extra time before heading out the door. And don't forget to slow down. Denver7 traffic expert Jayson Luber says crashes are starting to come in "very quickly" as more and more drivers are going too fast for these conditions.

5:28 a.m. | TRAFFIC UPDATE | There is a serious crash out east on EB I-76 after Sable. Major delay for the moment, according to Denver7 traffic expert Jayson Luber.

5:04 a.m. | I-70 LATEST | Semi drivers are stacked up just east of E470 as I-70 from Aurora to Kansas remains closed for now. I-70 remains closed this morning after 12 semi-tractor trailers and nine passenger vehicles were involved in a pileup near Strasburg Wednesday.

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4:49 a.m. | TODAY'S FORECAST | A Denver7 Weather Action Day continues today with icy road conditions around the metro and eastern plains. Expect a high temp in the mid 30, and the good news? More sunshine! A chance of flurries Friday with temps around 30 degrees.

4:30 a.m. | ROAD CONDITIONS | A mix of conditions on and off the highways in the metro and the drive here "isn't horrible" says Denver7 traffic expert Jayson Luber. But there are icy spots. A delayed start by many schools will help the early part of the commute.

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4:10 a.m. | SCHOOLS UPDATE | Check all closures and delays here.

  • Aurora Public Schools on a one-hour delay.
  • 27J Schools on a two-hour delay.
  • Denver Public Schools are on a normal schedule Thursday.

3 a.m. | HIGHWAY CLOSURES | A check of the latest highway closures across the state as of 3 a.m. Thursday include:

  • I-70 both directions from Denver to Kansas
  • I-76 both directions from Sterling to Nebraska
  • US 6 both directions from Sterling to Nebraska
  • US-36 both directions from Airpark Road (Mile 76) to Kansas
  • US 40/US 287 both directions from Limon to Kansas
  • US 385 both directions from Julesburg to Nebraska
  • CO 11 both directions from CO 138 to Nebraska
  • CO 23 both directions from US-385 to Nebraska
  • CO 55 both direction from CO 138 to mile post 5.5
  • CO 59 both directions from I-76 to Yuma
  • CO 61 both directions from Otis to Sterling 
  • CO 71 both directions from Last Chance to Brush
  • CO 86 both directions from Elizabeth to I-70
  • CO 113 both directions from CO 138 to Nebraska
  • US 138 both directions from Sterling to Nebraska 

Mountains and Southwest Colorado Closures

  • US 550 Silverton to Ouray (Red Mountain pass)
  • CO 139 Douglas Pass (MP 30-39)

Wednesday

10:00 p.m. | FORECAST | Though the snow has stopped, you can expect slick roads on your morning commute. For the latest forecast, click here.

9:40 p.m. | DIA | The Denver International Airport has seen 320 flight cancellations and 836 delays so far Wednesday.

8:17 p.m. | WEATHER DELAYS | 27J Schools will begin on a 2-hour delay due to weather conditions, the school announced. For more closures and delays, click here.

2:05 p.m. | WEATHER CLOSURES | Some retail establishments are closing early Wednesday due to weather conditions. Outlets at Castle Rock said it will close at 5 p.m. due to conditions. The mall will reopen on normal hours Thursday.

1:45 p.m. | CRASH NEAR STRASBURG | Colorado State Patrol says at least nine commercial vehicles and 12 passenger vehicles crashed on I-70 in the Strasburg area. No injuries were reported. I-70 is shut down from Airpark to the Kansas border.

12 p.m. | SNOWFALL RECORD TIED IN DENVER | Denver has now tied the record for the Top 5 largest one-day January snowfalls (set in 1989), coming in at 8.6" as of noon Wednesday. One to two inches of additional snow is expected with more for the eastern plains by tonight.

12 p.m. | HIGHWAY CLOSURES | A check of the latest highway closures across the state as of noon Wednesday include:

  • I-25 southbound at US 34 due to multi-vehicle crash
  • I-76 both directions from Sterling to Nebraska
  • US 385 both directions from Julesburg to Nebraska
  • US 138 both directions from Sterling to Nebraska 
  • US 6 both directions from Sterling to Nebraska
  • CO 113 both directions from CO 138 to Nebraska
  • CO 59 both directions from I-76 to Yuma
  • CO 55 both direction from CO 138 to mile post 5.5
  • CO 52 both directions from New Raymer to Fort Morgan
  • CO 23 both directions from US-385 to Nebraska
  • CO 14 both directions from Ault to Sterling 
  • CO 11 From CO 138 to Nebraska

Mountains and Southwest Colorado Closures

  • US 550 Purgatory to Ouray (Red Mountain, Molas and Coal Bank passes)
  • US 160 Wolf Creek Pass
  • CO 65 Grand Mesa
  • CO 145 Lizard Head Pass

9:52 a.m. | HIGHWAY CLOSURE | Southbound I-25 is closed again at Highway 34 in Larimer County due to a crash involving a semi. Traffic is backed up to Crossroad Blvd, CSP says.

9:45 a.m. | DIA MISERY | DIA is reporting 263 cancellations and 97 delays as of 9:45 a.m. Wednesday.

9:07 a.m. | TRAFFIC UPDATE | There's a crash on Highway 36 after McCaslin which involved a pickup that spun out in the left lane, according to Denver7 traffic expert Jayson Luber.

8:52 a.m. | HIGHWAY CLOSURE | There are multiple crashes being reported on westbound C-470 at US 85 / Santa Fe, according to CSP. A CSP Patrol Car has been hit too, but no one was injured. Please slow down.

8:34 a.m. | CSP UPDATE | The Colorado State Patrol has discontinued Snow Tortoise of slowing traffic on E-470 I-25/MM 0 through I-70/Exit 20.

8:22 a.m. | TRAFFIC UPDATE | Downtown Denver is mostly slushy at this time, according to Denver7 traffic expert Jayson Luber.

8:20 a.m. | TRAFFIC UPDATE | Southbound I-25 is back open between Lincoln Street and Downing Street after a crash that closed four lanes of the road earlier this morning.

8:11 a.m. | TRAFFIC UPDATE | The crash on southbound I-25 at Spruce Road is now clear and the highway is back open following a crash involving a jackknifed semi.

7:32 a.m. | TRAFFIC UPDATE | Southbound I-25 is closed between Lincoln Street and Downing Street due to a crash. Four lanes are blocked.

7:04 a.m. | CSP UPDATE| The Colorado State Patrol has initiated Snow Tortoise on E-470 on the entire route, and the agency is slowing traffic to 45 mph due to weather conditions.

“One or more troopers will activate their emergency lights and go what they feel is the safe speed limit," said CSP Master Trooper Gary Cutler. "The thought is you will slow drivers."

6:47 a.m. | TRAFFIC UPDATE | Southbound I-25 is closed at Spruce Road. south of Castle Rock due to jacknifed semi.

6:19 a.m. | RTD DELAYS | Due to the weather conditions throughout the metro area, expect delays of up to 45 minutes on some routes. To check the status of your trip, please check Next Ride at rtdden.co/3lOW05d and check Service Alerts at rtdden.co/3AbR0xP.

6 a.m. | DIA MISERY | DIA is reporting 262 cancellations and 34 delays as of 6 a.m. Wednesday.

5:43 a.m. | TRAFFIC UPDATE | Here are the current conditions around Aurora:

5:37 a.m. | HIGHWAY CLOSURES | A check of the latest highway closures as of 5:30 a.m. across the state include:

  • I-76 both directions from Sterling to Nebraska
  • US-385 both directions from Julesburg to Wray
  • US-138 both directions from Sterling to Nebraska 
  • US-6 both directions from Sterling to Nebraska

Southwest Colorado Closures

  • US 550 Purgatory to Ouray (Red Mountain, Molas and Coal Bank passes)
  • US 160 Wolf Creek Pass
  • CO 59 both directions from I-76 to Yuma
  • CO-52 both directions from New Raymer to Fort Morgan
  • CO-23 both directions from US-385 to Nebraska
  • CO-14 both directions from Ault to Sterling 

5:21 a.m. | TRAFFIC UPDATE | Northbound I-25 is back open at Castle Pines and RidgeGate following a semi crash, says Denver7 traffic expert Jayson Luber.

5:15 a.m. | TRAFFIC UPDATE | It's looking snowy in Congress Park along east Colfax, per Denver7 traffic expert Jayson Luber.

5:10 a.m. | TRAFFIC UPDATE | Downtown Denver isn't too bad with snow cover and slush out there, says Denver7 traffic expert Jayson Luber. Bike lanes are slippery and most sidewalks are not shoveled yet.

5 a.m. | DIA MISERY | DIA is reporting 262 cancellations and 33 delays as of 5 a.m. Wednesday. We are now the top post on FlightAware's misery map.

4:45 a.m. | ROAD CLOSURE | Semi truck crash down south on NB 25 between Castle Pines and RidgeGate, says Denver7 traffic expert Jayson Luber. Check traffic map.

4:25 a.m. | TRAFFIC UPDATE | Roads are pretty consistent across Denver with snow cover and slushy conditions in most areas. Northeast side of the metro and the state are where you could see more problems, but traffic is light. Check traffic map.

3:55 a.m. | FORECAST UPDATE | Another blast of snow expected around the morning rush hour but lighter than normal traffic will be out on the roads with many schools closed. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect until at least 5 p.m. with snow continuing off and on mainly before 2 p.m., says Denver7 meteorologist Katie Lasalle. A Denver7 Weather Action Day until 11:30 a.m.

3:05 a.m. | HIGHWAY CLOSURES | A check of the latest highway closures overnight include

  • I-76 both directions from Sterling to Nebraska
  • US-385 from Julesburg to Wray
  • US-138 from Sterling to Nebraska
  • US-6 from Sterling to Nebraska
  • CO 59 from I-76 to Haxtun
  • CO-52 from New Raymer to Ft Morgan
  • CO-23 from US-385 to Nebraska
  • CO-14 from Ault to Sterling

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2:45 a.m. | SNOW TOTALS UPDATE | Out at DIA, we've seen 4.8" of snow (so far) and the weather office in Boulder has recorded 2.7" as of midnight.

Tuesday

10:30 p.m. | FORECAST | Chief Meteorologist Mike Nelson and the Denver7 team share what you need to know as this snow continues to fall across the state.

NWS warns drivers about 'especially dangerous' conditions Wednesday morning

10:17 p.m. | CLOSURES | Denver city government will be closed to the public Wednesday due to weather conditions. You can see the latest closures, from school districts to governments, by clicking here.

9:24 p.m. | DIA | About 178 flights were canceled at DIA Tuesday, while 223 flights have been delayed.

7:42 p.m. | STATE GOVERNMENT OFFICES CLOSED | State of Colorado government offices across the state will be closed Wednesday due to the weather.

"State facilities essential to public health and safety will maintain regular operating schedules and “essential personnel” must report to work at their normal scheduled time," a press release from Governor Jared Polis' office said.

The Colorado Judicial Branch has its own information regarding closures and delays for Colorado courthouses and probation offices. More information can be found here.

6:42 p.m. | SNOW DAY | Several metro-area school districts, including Denver Public Schools, have canceled classes Wednesday as a winter storm moves in. See a list of closures here: bit.ly/3XE6IxN

5:28 p.m. | DIA | Nearly 180 flights have been cancelled Tuesday at the Denver International Airport, and 150 have been delayed.

5:00 p.m. | FORECAST | Chief Meteorologist Mike Nelson breaks down what we can expect with this storm in his 5 p.m. forecast.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023 evening forecast

3:36 p.m. | XCEL PREPARES FOR STORM | Xcel Energy is preparing for the upcoming winter storm, the company said in a news release. They are asking customers to immediately report an outage through the app, online at xcelenergy.com/out, or by calling 1-800-895-1999.

3:32 p.m. | WARMING CENTERS | The City of Denver is offering support to help residents stay warm. It will open all currently operating recreation centers as daytime warming centers during regular business hours Wednesday. Denver’s Department of Housing Stability (HOST) will also activate the McNichols Civic Center Building, 144 W. Colfax Ave., to expand overnight shelter capacity for people experiencing homelessness beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, through 8 a.m. Thursday.